Thursday, May 3, 2012


Yay! Welcome to my travel blog numero dos (yup already getting into the swing of things with Español). For the next two months I am going to be living and volunteering in Sucre, Bolivia for a nonprofit organization called BiblioWorks. BiblioWorks builds and funds libraries in the rural communities surrounding Sucre. Once the libraries are up and running BiblioWorks trains librarians, supplies books, teaches reading, host fun activities, etc. I will give a much more detailed description of what I will be doing when I find that out for sure! When I arrive in Sucre tomorrow the director and I will come up with a plan of action for the next two months.

The reason I am in Bolivia right now is because I have a grant from my school, Bowdoin College. This grant is called the Global Citizens Grant (GCG) and is sponsored through the McKeen Center– our on campus volunteer center. I proposed my trip to Bolivia and after an application and interview I was awarded a grant– so exciting! What was even cooler, was that I found out about my Bolivia trip when I was still in the Philippines, which made my life seem a little bit ridiculous and surreal. Honestly. the amount of traveling I have done this year is unreal. By the time August rolls around, I will have only spent 3 months in America in the whole year. Wowwww. A little more information about my grant: I have a set amount of money that I need to budget very carefully. I record all of my costs, and whenever possible I collect receipts to return to Bowdoin. This grant covers anything and everything that is applicable to my travels: plane ticket, visas, ground transportation, lodging, food, etc. I just need to budget everything to make sure I don't go over my allotted amount.
La Paz
I flew into La Paz, Bolivia just about four hours ago. Going through customs was super smooth– I was able to get my visa right at the airport, which is so handy. I found my way to an ATM, got some Bolivianos, argued with a taxi driver for a little bit for a metered trip to the bus station, and then was on my way. When I caught my first glimpse of La Paz I was in shock. What a beautiful city! I am accustomed to big, dirty cities (ahem Saigon and Manila) but La Paz is the exact opposite. It is set in the foothills of the Andes, a mere 3600 meters above sea level. This is a rolling city, and the buildings are all clinging to the hillside– it is absolutely stunning!

I bought my bus ticket, stored my baggage, and now have been drowsily exploring this gorgeous city. My bus to Sucre leaves at 7:00 tonight, so I have about 9 more hours to kill here. Right now I am just sitting in a cafe trying to stay awake. My laptop is going to be dead in a few minutes so that might be my cue to get up and start exploring the city again. I think it is a combination of the high altitude, me being completely exhausted from traveling, hearing only Spanish, and the steep hills in this city– but I just feel drained! I just need to get through 9 more hours until I can *try* to sleep on the bus to Sucre. 9 hour 9 hours 9 hours. Today is going to be a struggle that's for sure– but I can't complain... I'm in Bolivia!
I already found something to satisfy my sweet tooth– this was
papaya and banana mixed in some sort of sweet liquid.
I can't believe that I saw this on my first day...
I think it is dried/dehydrated llama.


  1. Terrifying! Can you imagine seeing dehydrated moose in a bin at the Portland Jetport? I'm so happy for you, though, that you are able to experience these kinds of amazing adventures. Your life will be so much more full and fulfilling because of them. (Jealous!)

    ~Mrs. Baker

  2. Wow...home only 3 months in a whole year; you and Devin are nearly tied on that one. What a world traveler you are...keep laughing and having fun. Can't wait to read more of about your adventures and experiences with the kids and library work. Viajes seguros!

  3. ahhh lama fetuses - i remember those! they are for blessings! often you are supposed to bury them under the house for good luck and safety. so glad you are settling in!!! MISS YA!